Nov. 16, 1905, New-York Daily Tribune, HARRIMAN ANSWERS HYDE
Page 1, Column 1,
ODELL ON STAND SOON.
Charge About Settlement of His Suit Flatly Contradicted.
The following are the points on which E. H. Harriman, under oath, flatly contradicted the sworn testimony of james hazen Hyde before the Legislative Insurance Committee yesterday:
First---That the Mercantile Trust Company settled for $75,000 ex-Governor Odell's Shipbuilding suit on his advice.
Second---That he ever advised Mr. Hyde to settle the suit to avoid retaliatory legislative action repealing the charter of the Mercantile Trust Company.
Third--That he ever heard of any legislation for the repeal of this charter, concerning which
Mr. Hyde swore he had admonished him.
Fourth--That he ever suggested Mr. Hyde's appointment as French Ambassador until appealed to for help by Hyde.
On these additional points in Mr. Hyde's testimony Mr. Harriman interposed contradictions, while confirming a portion of the testimony of the former:
First--That he advised Mr. Hyde not to sell his stock in the Equitable. Mr. Harriman admitted the advice, but declared he acted as a friend anxious to help, not desiring "to knife him in the back."
Second--That he had advised Mr. Hyde to move the adoption of the Frick report, knowing the former was ignorant of its contents, Mr. Harriman conceded this, but declared he was seeking to befriend "the young man," and had offered if he did to "stand by him through thick and thin."
Third--That he had spoken to President Roosevelt about Mr. Hyde's appointment as Ambassador to France. Mr. Harriman confirmed this, but insisted he had not recommended the appointment, declining to give his reasons for this position.
Fourth--That he had advised secrecy regarding the Union Pacific "blind pool," but had not forbidden Mr. Hyde to explain the matter to the executive committee of the Equitable.
It was also brought out that the Ambler bill repealing the charter of the Mercantile Trust Company, had been introduced in the legislature of 1904, in March, while the Odell settlement was not made until December of the same year, months after the legislature had adjourned and just before the end of Governor Odell's term.
Mr. Hyde attempted to meet this point by declaring that he feared ex-Governor Odell's influence on the incoming legislature.
Striking instances of apparent profit made by the Squires by the purchase from and resale to the Equitable of securities were shown, one transaction indicating a profit of $18,000.
James Hazen Hyde testified that four offers for his Equitable stock made by George J. Gould, H.C. Frick, E.H. Harriman and Gage E. Tarbell antedated the Ryan offer which was accepted.
THE ISSUE CLEAR CUT.
Committee Refuses to Go Into Question of Opponents' Veracity.
The truth or falsity of the sweeping charges made by James Hazen Hyde against ex-Governor Odell on Tuesday now rests entirely on a question of veracity between Mr. Hyde and E.H. Harriman. In the most dramatic session of the insurance committee Mr. Harriman yesterday specifically contradicted every one of the accusations made by Hyde.
Just before Mr. Harriman left the stand there was the nearest approach to a wrangle that has occurred since the committee began its sessions. Apparently provoked by Mr. Harriman's flat contradiction of his client's testimony, Samuel Untermyer, Mr. Hyde's counsel, rose and demanded permission to cross examine Mr. Harriman. There was a long consultation of the committee. Then the request was denied by Senator Armstrong. The denial was entirely consistent wiith the course followed by the committee since it began its work. Opportunity was offered Mr. Untermyer to put any questions pertinent to the real purpose of the commission through Mr. Hughes. Again Mr. Untermyer protested and attempted to ask a question of Mr. Harriman.
Senator Armstrong intervened and directed Mr. Harriman not to answer the questien. Then Mr. Unternyer put several questions through mr. Hughes and subsided. After the hearing he renewed his protest and was then told that if had any material questions which might be put by Mr. Hughes he would be permitted to follow this course, but that he could not cross examine a witness. Senator Armstrong, supported by his associates, took the ground that the question of personal veracity between the two witnesses was not one that the committee could deal with.
With reference to the strength of Mr. Hyde's charge that he feared the efforts of Governor Odell, expressed in retaliatory legislation, the evidence yesterday developed one damaging fact. The Ambler bill repealing the Mercantile Trust Company's charter was introduced in March. The settlement was not made in the Odell suit until the following December, just before Governor Odell's term expired and while the legislature was not in session. Assemblyman Rogers, impressed with the fact and failing to see any basis in fact for any part of Hyde's charge about retaliatory legislation, asked:
"What danger of possible legislation could have in the slightest degree influenced you, when no legislature was in session?"
"There was a legislature to be in session."
"But Governor Odell, who you claim was the man you feared, was going out of office on December 31."
"People out of office are sometimes more influential than when in office."
HARRIMAN ON STAND.
Denial of Hyde's Important Testimony Unequivocal.
The appearance of Mr. Harriman was greeted with the largest crowd of the sessions. While Mr. Hughes examined the witness on preliminary matters the crowd waited anxiously for its sensation. James Hazen Hyde, who watched Mr. Harriman with evident traces of nervousness. shifted uneasily and clasped and unclasped his hands as Mr. Hughes approached the critical point. Mr. Harriman, on the contrary, was absolutely calm. Some surprise was excited by the suggestion contained in Mr. Hughes's examination that a condition in the settlement of the Odell suit had been ex-Governor Odell's advocacy of Mr. Hyde's appointment as Ambassador to France. Mr. Harriman denied all knowledge of this. The examination regarding the Odell suit follows:
Q.--Testimony has been received here as to an interview between you and Mr. Hyde with reference to the settlement of governor Odell's claim against Mercantile Trust Company growing out of his purchase of bonds of the United States Shipbuilding Company. Did you have such an interview?
A.--Yes. Now, Mr. Hughes, may I make a statement? I have not read any of the evidence given by any other witness, so that my mind is entirely fresh on these subjects, without any prejudice.
Q.--Then before I call your attention to statements which have been made, which I shall do later, I will ask you to give us the benefit of your recollection as to any transactions with Mr. Hyde or others relating to the settlement of Governor Odell's suit.
A.--Mr. Hyde came to me--I am not sure, but I think Mr. Deming also; whether they were together or separately I don't recollect--and asked me if I could not use my influence to try to get Governor Odell to settle that suit.
Q.--When was that?
A.--That must have been, now me see---I have had something else to think about beside Equitable matters, as you probably realize--I think it was some time last winter.
Q.--Was it not in the spring of 1904 or summer of 1904?
A.--No, I think it was last autumn or last winter. It may have been in the summer. It is not tied to my recollection.---
Q.--Well, the date we may be able to supply a little later. Perhaps you can fix this conversation with some reference to the time of the settlement. How long was it before that?
A.--I think it was about a month before I understood the settlement was made.
MR. HARRIMAN'S STATEMENT.
Q.--Now if you will, go on please, and state what took place.
A.--Mr. Hyde's statement to me was that the Odell suit was dangerous to the Mercantile Trust Company, in that it might induce other suits to be brought by other people that had been subscribers to the shipbuilding combination. I agreed with Mr. Hyde that I would see Governor Odell, which I did, and arranged an interview between them, which took place in one of the rooms of my office. I was not present and knew nothing about the conversation that took place between Governor Odell and Mr. Hyde, and I think Mr. Colby was with them; and the only thing I know about this conversation was that when Governor Odell came out of the room he asked me who Mr. Colby was, and I did not then know exactly, but I told him I believed he had something to do with the law department of the Equitable. He said: "It seems very strange; he is the whole Equitable, and Mr. Hyde is nothing; he was the man that stated what they would or would not do." It seemed to have irritated him. That is all I had to do with it for some time. I was finally approached again some days after that by Mr Hyde and Mr. Colby, who came to my office and stated that they still desired to get this matter out of the way, and Mr. Colby's remark to me was: "I want you to understand, Mr. Harriman, that my offer, my first offer, is my best." What he meant by that I don't know. To this I made no reply, but I told Mr. Hyde that I would again see Governor Odell and try to get him to do something about settling the suit, and finally--I don't remember whether any figure was named to me or not, but they had another interview. I think somewhere uptown, perhaps at my house, at which I was not present, because I did not want to have anything to do with it, and in the end Mr. Hyde told me that they were willing to pay $70,000, and would not I try to get Governor Odell to accept that amount, which I did. As I recollect it, Governor Odell told me that if I specially desired it he would do so. Well, I told him that I did not want to be put in that position. He went into some details, that he would have to pay lawyers' fees out of it, and that, anyway, if I specially requested he would. I told Mr. Hyde of that interview and said to him that if I were in his place and were going to settle it, although I had no advice to give as to whether it should be settled or not, I would not stand on $75,000 on a settlement of that kind. I would make it satisfactory. And I understood afterward that Mr. Hyde saw him and the payment was made, of which I had no further knowledge.
Q.--How long was it after the interview you had first with Mr. Hyde when Mr. Hyde and Mr. Colby met Governor Odell at your office?
A,--I don't remember. It must have been within a few days or a week.
Q.--How long was it after that time when you were approached again by Mr. Colby?
A.--I cannot remember that. It was a short time.
Q.--Was it within a short time?
A.--It was all within a week or so.
Q.--And the interview which was subsequently had between Mr. Hyde and Mr. Colby and Governor Odell, was that at your house or at a club?
A.--I don't remember any interview after the one had in my office between Mr. Hyde and Mr. Colby and Governor Odell. I don't know that Mr. Colby was present at any other meetings between those people.
Q.--Then the subsequent interview, which you first thought was at your house, was an interview between Mr. Hyde and Governor Odell?
A.--That is as I recollect it.
Q.--Was that at your house or at a club?
A.--I don't recollect. Now, I don't know. I don't recollect any meeting that was held at a club.
MAKES FLAT CONTRADICTIONS.
Q.--Did you say anything to Mr. Hyde in any of these interviews as to the desirability of settling the suit because of the power that might be exercised against the company at Albany?
Q.--Did you make any mention to Mr. Hyde of any attempt that had been or might be made to repeal the charter of the Mercantile Trust Company?
Q.--Did you refer at all to any advantage to the company in settling the suit to avoid an attack upon it?
A.--No, sir. In fact, I specifically told Mr. Hyde that I did not know anything about the merits of it.
Q.--That is the merits of the claim, the contention?
A.--I did not know anything about it.
Q.--Did you give advice to Mr. Hyde as to whether it should or should not be settled?
A.--None whatever, other than I have stated about the matter of not standing for the $5,000.
Q.--Or to Mr. Colby?
Q.--Did Governor Odell request you to use your influence to obtain a settlement of the claim?
Q.--Then from your testimony we are to understand Governor Odell had no interview with you to set you in motion?
Q.--To procure a settlement of the claim?
Q.--But that the request for the settlement came exclusively from Mr. Hyde?
Q.--Mr. Hyde has testified as follows, referring to this claim: "Q.--Did Mr. Harriman ever suggest to you that the claim be settled? A.--Yes, sir; he suggested to me that there was then a great deal of rumor in the newspapers that an effort would be made to repeal the charter of the Mercantile Trust Company, which was a valuable charter, and the Equitable Life has a very large investment in the company." Did you suggest or state that to Mr. Hyde?
Q.--At any time?
Q.--The further question was asked: "Q.--Explain what you mean by the repeal of the charter? A.--I mean exactly what I say," and a further answer: "I suppose he," referring to you, "feared retaliatory measures on the part of that powerful gentleman."
Q.--Why should you suppose so?
A.--I don't know; he seemed to think so.
Q.--In what form was that suggestion made?
A.--In just that naked form.
Q.--Well, that there was danger that the charter would be repealed?
Q.--Did you make any statement in part or in substance, directly or indirectly of that sort?
Q.--To Mr. Hyde?
Q.--At any time?
Q.--The further question was asked of Mr. Hyde: "Q.--I want you to state what Mr. Harriman said as definitely as you can. A.--He said there was a possiblity of that powerful interest at Albany doing harm, being antagonistic on account of this shipbuilding loss, doing harm to one of the valuable assets of the Equitable, which was the Mercantile Trust." Did you say that?
Q.--In substance or in any way?
A.--No, sir, in no way whatever.
Q.--It was further testified: "Q.--Did he say anything specifically as to the repeal of the charter? A.--Yes, sir he mentioned that as a possibility. Q.--By legislation? A.--Yes, sir, and it was also rumored in the newspapers." Did you say anything to him to that effect?
DID NOT KNOW OF SUIT.
Q.--I thought I had asked you this, but it is suggested to me that I have not. Did you know of any rumor that there was a bill introduced to repeal the charter of the Mercantile Trust Company?
Q.--Or that there was to be such an effort made?
Q.--It appears here in evidence that a bill had been introduced in March, 1904, in both the Senate and Assembly to repeal the charter of the Fire-proof Warehousing Company and the acts amendatory thereof, which were the charter and acts authorizing the Mercantile Trust Company to do business. Did you ever hear anything about the introduction of that measure?
Q.--Did you have any interviews with Mr. Hyde as to his being appointed to Ambassador to France?
Q.--When was that?
A.--I think it was about a year ago.
Q.--What led to those interviews?
A.--Mr. Hyde came to me and asked me to use my influence in trying to have him appointed.
Q.--Had you ever said anything to him or any one connected with him on that subject?
Q.--State whether or not it had previously been present in your mind or suggested to you by any one?
A.--I think the first---let me correct that answer that I made. I think Mr. McIntyre was the first one that came to me about it.
Q.--That was the first intimation to you of such a matter?
Q.--And did you have any interviews with any one else before Mr. Hyde spoke to you about it?
Q.--What did you say to Mr. Hyde as to who you would do in the matter?
A.--I told him that when I saw the President I would speak to him about it.
Q.--Did you do so?
Q..Did you recommend him?
Q.--Do you know whether Governor Odell did anything with regard to the procuring of such an appointment?
Q.--Do you know whether he visited the President with reference to it?
Q.--Was the time when this matter was brought up between you and Mr. Hyde at or near the time when the matter of Governor Odell's claim against the Mercantile Trust Company was under consideration?
A.--I don't remember that there was a connection between them in any way whatever.
Q.--I am advised that the date of the settlement of Governor Odell's claim, or rather the date of appointment, was December 30, 1904. I don't know as to the accuracy of it. It is a statement purporting to come from the company.
A.--Well, it must have been about a year ago, as my recollection was at first.
Q.--When were these interviews with regard to the ambassadorial appointment?
A.--I sbould think they were about a year ago; I think I stated that before, did I not?
Q.--That was my recollectlon.
Q.--State whether or not there was any connection between the two?
A.--There was none.
Q.--Did you go to see the President immediately after the settlement of the suit of Governor Odell?
A.--I don't remember.
Q.--Can you fix the date of that business?
A.--Some time in the autumn of 1904. I did not go to see the President specifically on that subject.
Q.--You mentioned the matter or said you would mention the matter when you did see him?
Subsequently Mr. Hughes again referred to the date of the conference as follows:
Q.--It appears that the bill to repeal the charter of the Mercantile Trust Company was introduced in March---on March 31, 1900. Now, did you have any interview with Mr. Hyde or Mr. Colby, or with Governor Odell, or any one relative to the settlement of Governor Odell's claim against the Mercantile Trust Company, prior to the adjournment of the legislature in 1904?
Q.--Which, I suppose, took place about May 9, or early in May.
The Chairman---Much earlier---April 23, or earlier.
Q.--April 23, 1904---you had no such interview?
The Chairman---I understood you to say that the earliest interview you had on that subject was along in the autumn?
A.--About a year ago, in the autumn.
Mr. Hughes---Are we to understand that your first interview with regard to that settlement of Governor Odell's suit was in the fall of 1904?
Q.--And if the date of settlement is correctly given to me as December 30th--date of payment was December 30th, 1904, how long prior to that time was the matter first called to your attention?
A.--May have been a month or two months.
Q.--Do you know whether or not the payment was made immediately upon the settlement?
A.--I don't know.
Q.--It is suggested to me that it was made several months later; is that the fact?
A.--That I don't know.
Q.--If you will be good enough to search your memory and tell me about the date when the interview took place between Mr. Hyde and Governor Odell uptown, either at your house or at a club, when I understand the matter was suggested?
A.--Well, I think it was a short time after the first interview they had in my offlce downtown.
TELLS OF FRICK REPORT. Page 3, Column 2,
Asked Hyde to Move Its Adoption from Friendly Motives.
Mr. Harriman's testimony regarding his advice to Mr. Hyde to move the adoption of the Frick report tallied more nearly with Mr. Hyde's testimony than that on any other point, but he insisted that he had advised this out of friendship for "the young man," and ridiculed the notion that there was any attempt "to knife" Hyde. In this testimony he attacked Mr. Hyde's testimony about a "conspiracy and cabal" to deprive Hyde of his property, just as in the preceding reference to the Ambassador incident he maintained that Hyde had come to him, instead of his going to Hyde, and that his effort throughout had been to help Hyde and not to injure him, get him out of the country or ruin his property. Mr. Harriman here denied the declaration of Mr. Hyde that he had offered to buy the Hyde stock in the Equitable.
The testimony on the Frick report follows:
Q.--Did you ask Mr. Hyde to move the adoption of the Frick report?
Q.--What did you say to him about that, and what did he say to you?
A.--I not only said that to Mr. Hyde, but I also said it to Mr. Gulliver. I had been befriending Mr. Hyde during the attacks that were being made upon him, and the attempts to oust him from the Equitable by the other antagonistic interests to him, and I told Mr. Gulliver several days before the Frick report was presented that I wished he would tell Mr. Hyde from me that if I were in his place, as a friend of his, I would favor the adoption of that report, and ever to the extent of moving its adoption; that if he did I would stand by him through thick and thin and that I believed that every other independent, conservative man on the board would that he could state that the methods which he had pursued had been those which he found in existence when he went into the society, and that he was young and inexperienced, and that he had pursued them, and that he was sorry, and that if he were given an opportunity in the future to retrieve himself he hoped the board would do so, and that I believed that there would be a feeling toward him because of his youth and inexperience, that he should have some chance to retrieve his position.
Q.--What reply was made to that?
A.--Mr. Gulliver, as I recollect, told me that he would not advise that, but he would give that message to Mr. Hyde.
Q.--Have you stated---
A.--Now, one minute. Do you want to know what Mr. Hyde's answer was?
A.--Mr. Hyde came to my office the day before the Frick report was presented, and I then repeated that same opinion to him, and he objected in some form or other, not very strenuously.
Q.--Had you prior to the appointment of the Frick committee advised Mr. Hyde or stated to Mr. Gulliver that it would be a good thing to have such a committee appointed?
A.--I not only stated that---I may not have stated that to them, no, sir, but I did state to members of the board almost at the first inception of the charges that were made by the Alexander faction.
Q.--Did you state to Mr. Gulliver that the Frick committee would be favorable to Mr. Hyde?
Q.--Did you say in substance that you expected that its action would be favorable to him?
Q.--Did you in any way directly or indirectly, by statement to Mr. Gulliver or Mr. Hyde or any other person say anything which would indicate that the proceedings of the Frick committee or its report would be favorable to Mr. Hyde?
DID NOT TRY TO GET STOCK.
Q.--Were you concerned with any offer to Mr. Hyde for the purchase of his stock?
Q.--It is in evidence that an offer was made by Mr Frick? You had no connection with that?
Q.--What was your connection with it?
A.--I did not---no offer by Mr. Frick.
Q.--It has been stated here there was an offer. Mr. Hyde said there was an offer to Mr. Frick.
A.--That I do not know of. But Mr. Hyde had told me himself that he had received several offers for the purchase of his stock, and I asked him what he was going to do, and he said he would not sell it under any consideration, and I encouraged him in that. And Mr. Frick came to me and told me that he had heard also---then I said to him "I think you ought to tell Mr. Hyde not to sell that stock to anybody, and if he does he should not sell it without letting you know." And I understood from Mr. Frick that that was what he said.
Q.--Then you at no time made any effort to acquire Mr. Hyde's stock?
Q.--And down to the time of the report of the Frick committee you encouraged Mr. Hyde in the retention of his stock?
Q.--What did you do as to the report of the Frick committee, if anything, in reference to that?
A.--You have come to the point that the interview of the day before the Frick report was presented, when Mr. Hyde came to my office and I made the same suggestion to him that I had to Mr. Gulliver about his course as to the Frick report, and I told him then that this might be something which he would not feel courage enough to stand up under and it might jeopardize the value of his stock, but that I did not think that anybody but the Equitable ought to own that stock other than himself, and that if he had any fears on that subject that I would subscribe $500,000 to a fund to help him hold it, and if we thought it desirable, to turn it over absolutely to the ownership of the Equitable without any compensation, and that I thought others could be induced to do the same thing.
Q.--In what way was this subscription to aid him in holding the stock?
A.--Well, it was to take an interest with him and hold it for the beneft of the Equitable or present it to the Equitable.
Q.--With the idea that he should continue owner and in that way be able to realize upon his holdings to some extent?
A.--To some extent.
Q.--What did he say to that?
A.--I don't remember that he said anything.
Q.--You were one of the signers of the Frick report?
Q.--Did the Frick committee consider the matter of the Union Pacific preferred stock syndicate?
Q.--Was it before them that Mr. Hyde had told you that he did not care to make all the payments that would be called for by his individual subscriptlon, but that the Equitable Life Assurance Society would make them?
A.--I had no conversation with Mr. Hyde as to who should pay for the stock other than the original conversation that we had in 1900---when he came home from Europe, I think it was in January, 1902.
Q.--The one you have detailed a few moments ago?
Q.--In which he referred to the Equitable Life?
Q.--Did you present to the Frick committee or was there presented to the Frick committee that fact?
A.--Not that I remember.
THE UNION PACIFIC SYNDICATE.
Q.--Did the Frick committee apart from yourself know anything of the relation of the Equitable Life to the Union Pacific preferred stock syndicate---that is, of the fact that payment had been made by them and the stock was taken by them, and that Mr Hyde's name was used with the sanction of Mr. Alexander?
A.--I don't think they had any specific information or evidence other than the one that was done at that time, and the statement that had been made by Mr. Alexander.
Q.--You mean the general statement which he had incorporated in some letter he had written, or some statement made to the board?
A.--I don't remember what that was.
Q.--Did the members of the Frick committee inquire of you as to the facts?
A.--I don't remember that they did.
Q.--Did they inquire of Mr. Hyde as to the facts?
A.--I don't remember that they did
Q.--And the matter was not mentioned in the report of the Frick committee?
A.--Well, it was included in the charges that were made by Mr. Alexander.
Q.--I did not catch your idea, Mr. Harriman. In other words, you mean that the general statement or finding by the committee that Mr. Hyde had committed the society to transactions without the knowledge of the executive committee---
Q.--Was deemed by the Frick committee to cover the matter of the Union Pacific preferred stock syndicate without special mention?
Q.--Do you know whether or not Governor Odell wrote a letter either to the President or to the Secretary of State advocating the appointment of Mr. Hyde as French Ambassador shortly or immediately after the settlement of the suit against the Mercantile Trust Company?
A.--Now, I am not sure about that, Mr. Hughes. When you speak of it, I believe there was some conversation.
Q.--Was it a part of the arrangement with reference to the settlement of this suit that such a letter should be written by Governor Odell or a recommendation made?
A.--That is so far as I know?
Q.--Yes, of course.
Q.--You never heard anything of that kind?
DID WITHDRAW $2,700,000 LOAN.
Mr. Harriman confirmed Mr. Hyde's testimony that he had withdrawn his $2,700,000 loan from the Equitable when the rate of interest was raised, but insisted that he had paid the market rate at all times and that the regular margin of collateral was maintained. His testimony regarding the "blind pool" was materially different from that of Mr. Hyde. The latter testified that he had been forced to absolute secrecy on this subject by Mr. Harriman. Mr. Harriman's reference to the Frick report mention of the Union Pacific pool has already been shown.
In addition, Mr. Harriman declared that while secrecy was obviously requisite because of the nature of the undertaking, he had never at any time or in any way directed Mr. Hyde not to refer the matter to the Equitable Executive Committee. He corroborated Mr. Hyde's contention, denied by Jacob H. Schiff, that Mr. Hyde's participation was with Equitable funds, but did not say or suggest that Mr. Schiff knew this. Mr. Harriman insisted he placed no restriction on Mr. Hyde in the matter of secrecy about this incident, and testified to his belief in the propriety of the Equitable participation in the Union Pacific syndicate and in syndicates in general.
Regarding his entrance into the Equitable directorate Mr. Harriman testified that he had been asked to come by Mr. Hyde and had demurred, suggesting James J. Hlll. He initially yielded on Mr. Hyde's representation that he desired to "surround himself with independent men" and change the methods then obtaining, of which Mr. Harriman declared he did not approve. Of his duties as a director Mr. Harriman gave an instructive talk, which summarized the impotence and ignorance of directors in general except those on important committees. He denied all knowledge of various "yellow dog" accounts and campaign contributions. His illumination apparently came at the time of the Frick committee.
Regarding his view of Mr. Hyde Mr. Harriman testified he was surrounded---he was a young man with a great deal of power, and power which was apt to increase---and that he was apparently surrounded by people who were catering to his particular desires, without reference to what---without any special reference to what influence it might have on the Equitable's affairs, and that if he was to grow and get experience, he would do better by having around him men who were independent and had had experience in business affairs, who would sustain him and help him.
As Mr. Harriman was leaving the stand Mr. Untermyer made the appeal to be allowed to cross-examine. When this was overruled, he asked several questions through Mr. Hughes. One of these developed the fact that when he had recommended Mr. Hyde to move the adoption of the Frick report he had not told him that in effect this called for his removal. Mr. Harriman insisted, however, that his advice was sound and kindly meant. Mr. Harriman acknowledged that Mr. Hyde did not know its contents. Mr. Harriman further said that he had viewed the appointment of the Frick committee as necessary, but had been asked by Senator Depew to hold back his resolution for this committee.
HYDE STICKS TO STORY. Page 3, Columns 3 & 4,
Refuses to Change It When Contradicted by Harriman.
The long wrangle between Mr. Untermyer and the committee as to his right to cross-examine Mr. Harriman was followed by the recall of Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde was asked to repeat or change his testimony conflicting with Mr. Harriman's, but stood to his original testimony. The testimony on this point follows:
Q.--Did you go to Mr. Harriman and request him to bring about, if posslble, a settlement of Mr. Odell's claim?
A.--I don't remember going there with Mr. Deming, as Mr. Harriman testified.
Q.--Did you request Mr. Harriman to bring about a settlement of Governor Odell's claim?
A.--No, as I have already testified, he suggested it.
Q.--Do you desire to add anything to your testimony yesterday?
A.--No, sir. I don't think so.
Q.--Or to change it?
Mr. Hughes---That is all.
Mr. Rogers---Where was this conversation?
A.--In Mr. Harriman's offlce. I don't know whether it was in his front private office or back office.
Q.--You can say whether there at your own motion or at his suggestion?
A.--Yes, sir. I have answered it.
Mr. Hughes---Did you have any interview with Governor Odell at Mr. Harrimau's office?
A.---Yes, sir, once.
Q.--In Mr. Harriman's presence?
A.--He was there and went out.
Q.---Was there anything said at that time about any attack upon the charter of the Mercantile Trust Company?
Q.--Was anything ever said by Governor Odell on that point to you or in your hearing?
Q.--Or about any proceedings against the Mercantile Trust Company other than legal proceedings?
Mr. Hughes---That is all.
Mr. Untermyer---From whom did the statement come as to the attack on the charter?
A.--It came from Mr. Harriman.
Earlier in the day Mr. Hyde testified to the fact that he had received offers for his 502 shares of Equitable from H. C. Frick, from George J. Gould, and finally from Gage E. Tarbel. The last named had offered $1,000,000 as a representative of a syndicate. The size of this offer provoked a general laugh. Frick's offer had been $5,000,000. Mr. Hughes had also traced the famous Ambler Bill, showing that it had been introduced by Assemblyman R. J. Fish in the lower house "by request." The date of this introduction was March 31, 1904. The bill was referred to the judiciary committees of both houses and seems to have died there.
The most startling incident of the morning session was the testimony regarding the purchase, sale and repurchase by the Equitable of stock in the Lawyers' Title Insurance Company. The papers in Mr. Hughes's possession showed that the Equitable had acquired 2,000 shares of this stock at 174 and immediately resold 1,100 to George H. Squire at the same price. The books of Williamson & Squire showed a purchase of shares of this stock for Mr. Hyde at a price ranging from 301 to 315.
Mr. Hyde's memory on this point was entirely defective. He was out of the country at the time and did not know by what authority the purchases were made. This stock presently made its way back to the Equitable at a price just about twice that for which it had previously parted with it. That officers of the Equitable were buying stock from the Equitable in the name of the American Deposit and Loan Company and reselling it to the Equitable at a great advance was a matter Mr. Hyde had never heard of. The purchase in his name also amazed him. He was sure, however, that W. H. McIntyre, who figured in the deal, did not have his power of attorney.
There seemed to be record of a number of such transactions, but Mr. Hyde could throw no light upon them. In this talk Mr. Hyde made a defence of his father's conduct of Equitable affairs. and Mr. Untermyer, his counsel, sharply attacked State Superintendent Hendricks for his references to the elder Hyde in his report. Much comment on the absence of Mr. McIntyre was also voiced by all concerned at this time.
George H. Squire, Jr., of the firm of Willlamson & Squire, then took the stand, and testified to the stock purchases and resales mentioned above. In these Thomas D. Jordan also figured. George W. Jenkins. of the American Loan and Deposit Company, also testified to more purchases of the Lawyers' Title and Insurance Company stock. A check for $18,000 in profits to George H. Squire figured in his testimony, his firm having purchased for Squire. Recalled later, Mr. Hyde stuck to his story that the purchases in his name were unknown to him. T. F. Wllliamson, Mr. Hyde's secretary, was unable to shed any light on the affair. He could not even recall if his name had been used to carry two loans from the American Deposit and Loan
TO HEAR DEPEW TO-DAY.
H. C. Frick Likely To Be on Stand Next Week.
Senator Chauncey M. Depew will follow Michael Murray on the witness stand before the legislative committee to-day, and ex-Governor Benjamin B. Odell will begin his testimony to-morrow, according to sources close to the committee, although Edward Lauterbach, Mr. Odell's counsel, says that Mr. Odell will testify to-day.
According to the same sources close to the committee, the testimony of Henry Clay Frick will probably open next week's sessions, and Gage E. Tarbell may follow Mr. Frick. Interests closely identified with James Hazen Hyde were responsible for two explanations made to a Tribune reporter last night of Mr. Hyde's testimony as to the $75,000 shipbuilding settlements by the Mercantile Trust Company with Mr. Odell. According to these informants, Governor Odell's suit was settled on December 30, 1904. They said:
In the legislature ended about May, 1904, the insurance people managed to block the Ambler bill.
In the next legislature (that is, the most recent one) Mr Hyde believed that Mr. Odell, though his term would have expired, would enjoy a still stronger influence and following. Accordingly a settlement was made with him on December 30, just two days before his term expired.
Those who followed the course of Albany politics last winter concurred in Mr. Hyde's view that, although Mr. Odell would no longer be Governor in the 1905 session, in December, 1904, with Senator Depew's renomination, it did actually appear that Mr. Odell would have still stronger influence in the 1905 legislature than in the one preceding it. Subsequent happenings, however, point to the falsity of this view, they added.
It is said that the bill referred to was introduced on March 31, 1904, and that his suit was settled on the date already noted.
Mr. Lauterbach said last night that Mr. Odell would clear up everything on the stand before the investigating committee to-day. As to the date of the beginning of the action against the Mercantile, Mr. Lauterbach said:
I am not certain about that, although it was soon after the faiiure of Dresser which, I think, was in August, 1903. The suit had been pending a long time before it was settled. It would have been reached for trial in the course of another month, which, however, was anticipated by the settlement.
The other suits against the Mercantile Trust Company were settled as well and on even better terms than that which Mr. Odell secured.